Russian Su-25SM3 pilots learning to operate Gefest computing subsystem

Sukhoi Su-25SM3 (NATO reporting name: Frogfoot-A) pilots of the Southern Military District are learning to operate the Gefest aiming system during drills in the Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories in south Russia, the Defense Ministry’s press office said. “During the maneuvers, the Su-25SM3 pilots dropped bombs from a minimal altitude during a level flight, using the Gefest aiming and navigation system that is installed on all latest versions of the Su-25 attack plane,” the press office said

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Russian Su 25SM3 pilots learning to operate Gefest systems Sukhoi Su-25SM3 (Picture source: Russian Air Force)

It was reported in 2017 that the SVP-24 Gefest computing subsystem had increased the bombing accuracy of Tu-22M3 long-range supersonic bombers and Su-24M frontline bombers and allowed using free-fall bombs as high-precision ones during the counterterrorism operation in Syria. The SVP-24 Gefest subsystem analyzes the GLONASS data on the location of the aircraft and a target, atmospheric pressure, air humidity, wind speed, flight speed and other factors, calculates azimuth, speed and dropping altitude of an air-launched weapon and then conducts bombing in automatic mode. According to the Gefest&T Company, the SVP-24 mounted on the Su-24M plane has increased hit precision of unguided air-launched weapons by four to eight times, depending on the flight mode.

As it was reported earlier, Su-25SM3 planes are equipped with an SVP-24-25 aiming and navigation system that is an SVP-24 version developed especially for attack planes of the type.

Sukhoi Su-25SM3

The Su-25SM3 designates the third modernization standard of the Su-25 (NATO: Frogfoot-A) launched from 2014 on the Su-25SM-80, by the 121 ARZ of Kubinka. Intended for the Russian aerospace forces (VKS), it should make it possible to improve the air-to-ground capabilities of the aircraft through the use of a large set of guided munitions

From a technical point of view, these aircraft receive the new navigation and attack system PRnK-25SM-1 Bars whose performance allows more precise bombardments than with the SVP-24. This system also allows the aircraft to engage up to 4 targets simultaneously. It includes an on-board digital calculation system, a BTsU-25S multifunction display linked to the MFTsI-0332M calculation system and a SOLT-25 aiming sensor which integrates a laser range finder as well as a target designator, a thermal imaging system and TV, an X16 zoom as well as the ability to follow moving targets up to 8 km away. The SM3 is also equipped with the KSS-25 communication system, an improved T-SOK-UBO-130-04 video recorder for combat and training missions and a Karat-B-25 flight data recorder.

In addition, the modernized Frogfoot sees its aggression capacities improved by the new possibility of delivering guided ammunition. Thus, it can now carry the air-to-ground anti-radar missiles Kh-58USh (NATO: AS-11 Kitter), Kh-25ML (NATO: AS-10 Karen) and Kh-29L (NATO: AS-14 Kedge). It also adds to its range the Kh-29T / TD / TE optically guided missiles as well as the KAB-500S and KAB-500KR bombs. The Su-25SM3 also becomes capable of carrying 2 short-range R-73 air-to-air missiles (NATO: AA-11 Archer) for its self-defense.

Finally, it is equipped for its self-protection with the L-370K-25 Vitebsk-25 electronic countermeasures suite including the L-150-16M Pastel radar warning detector, the Zakhvat missile approach detector, two radar jammers. L-370-3S and a pair of UV-26M decoy launchers / chaffs.

At the end of 2016, a batch of 5 Su-25SM3 was admitted to active service. Initially, 50 modernized units must be delivered before the previously improved devices are brought to this standard.